Stefan Karl-Stefansson-Obituary

Stefan Karl Stefansson

1975 - 2018 (Age 43)


Stefán Karl Stefánsson, the Iceland-born film and theater actor who played the villain Robbie Rotten on the children’s TV series “LazyTown,” died August 21, 2018 of pancreatic cancer according to multiple news sources. He was 43 years old.

Stefánsson announced in October 2016 that he had pancreatic cancer. Mark Valenti, the head writer for “LazyTown,” quickly set up a GoFundMe page to help the actor’s family after he fell too ill to continue working.

“As Robbie Rotten on LazyTown,” Valenti wrote on the page, Stefánsson “has given laughter to children around the world. He created a foundation to help stop bullying. He is a tireless advocate for special needs children.

“And now Stefán Karl needs our help.”

As of June 29, 2017, the page has raised more than $144,000 – nearly 97 percent of its $150,000 goal.

Stefánsson was born July 10, 1975, in Hafnarfjörður, Iceland. He graduated from the Icelandic Academy of Arts in Reykjavik and worked as an actor with the National Theatre of Iceland.

He acted on “LazyTown,” which aired on Nickelodeon and later the Sprout Channel, among others, from 2004 to 2007 and again from 2013 to 2014. He started with “LazyTown” in 1999 when it was a theater production.

The story centers on Stephanie, 8, who moves to LazyTown to live with her uncle. Stephanie encourages her newfound friends to go outside and play instead of being homebound and playing video games all day. To help spread Stephanie’s message, her uncle, LazyTown Mayor Meanswell, seeks assistance from the town’s superhero, Sportacus, who urges LazyTown’s residents to stay fit and healthy in part by eating “sports candy,” aka fruits and vegetables.

Stefánsson’s character, Robbie Rotten, plots to thwart their efforts. He prefers LazyTowners to be reticent and lazy. Watching the town from his underground lair, Robbie is arguably the busiest person in LazyTown as he tries to put the “lazy” in LazyTown.

Stefánsson’s acting credits also include a number of theater roles. He played the Grinch in the seasonal musical “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” from 2008 to 2015. He did acting or voice acting in more than a dozen film and TV film productions.

In a 2016 interview for Reddit’s “Ask Me Anything” feature, Stefánsson took a fan’s question about whether playing the over-the-top villain on “LazyTown” was different from his other roles.

“There is no difference in preparing for Robbie Rotten or any classical serious role,” Stefánsson replied. “Every part you prepare for you have to be honest and truthful and wholly believe that the character exists – otherwise no one will accept your acting.

“Kids are a demanding audience and they KNOW when something is untruthful.”

He is survived by his wife, actress and writer Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir, three daughters, and a son.

We invite you to share condolences in his Guest Book.

Guest Book

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Number 1

Although many children would never recognize who was behind their favorite and funny villain, they will remember the episodes in which Stefán was able to make them laugh. My sincere condolences for your loss. I can only imagine how hard is the loss of a husband, father, and friend. He was, not only a talented actor, but a person of a good heart. Although words can not ease the pain, our Heavenly Father understand what you are going through and He becomes your Stronghold to endure - Psalms...

my son loved to watch lazy town when he was little. the other day he said "hey mom remember when i used to go to bed at 8:08". so very very sorry for your loss.

It is with saddened heart that I offer my deepest condolences, for the loss of your loved one. May you find them in your life in the days and weeks to come with memories that warm your heart.

To the Stefansson Family
I am truly sorry hear of you loss. My son enjoyed watching the show Lazytown. Mr. Stefansson and his fellow actors brought much joy and laughter to children around the world.
I pray for God's to keep you strong doing this great sadness, losing someone so dear difficult to endure
My family and I send our sincere condolences

Stefan liked laughter and joy. May you find him in your life in the days and weeks to come with memories that warm your heart.

To The Family Of Stafan Karl Stafansson
My condolences to the family during this time of such great sorrow. May the God of all comfort,comfort and grant you peace now and in the days ahead.

The legacy he left is not in vain. He made kids of all ages laugh. Talented person, great personality, and a truly fighter. My heart goes out to the family and friends for the loss of their beloved Stefán Karl. May the strength and the comfort from our Heavenly Father, help you cope these moments of sorrow and sadness, while you cherish the beautiful moments you had with Stefán.